We had a rare week of football in Florida with a lot of teams winning. In college, the Gators, Knights, Noles and Owls all won. While in the pros, the Bucs and Jags both had big road wins. Here is how the teams shape up heading into next weekend:
Florida Gators- The Gators once again hold the top spot in our rankings, but that could come to an end next week. The Gators rolled to a 38-0 win over Towson. Kyle Trask tossed two touchdowns and only had two incompletions. Emory Jones also had a touchdown, and Sophomore Dameon Pierce surprisingly led the team in rushing yards.
The Gators will host the number 7 ranked Auburn Tigers next. With this being the homecoming game and ESPN “College Gameday” coming to town, excitement will be in the air in Gainesville. Can Kyle Trask lead the Gators offense to enough points against a stingy Auburn defense? And can the Gators defense stop true freshman Bo Nix and the stout rushing attack?
UCF Knights- The Knights were able to bounce back from their first loss as expected. The offense cruised over Uconn with over 600 yards of offense. QB Dillion Gabriel had three touchdown passes, all of which had Gabriel Davis on the end of them. Davis had those three touchdowns along with two more catches for 119 yards. The Knights will now go on the road Friday night to Cincinnati for one of the tougher games they will play all season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs (photo above) got a huge win on the road in L.A. They put up a franchise-record 55 points, and the offense looks like what it was hyped up to be in the off-season. On defense, Shaq Barrett has been the defensive POY through the first four games. The Bucs will continue their long road trip with a date in New Orleans with first place in the division on the line.
Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags stayed hot winning their second game in a row. Lenard Fournette finally had his breakout game with a career high 225 rushing yards with a long of 81. QB Gardner Minshew continues to impress commanding the offense to critical scoring drives. Now at 2-2, the Jags are in a 4-way tie for first place in the division early in the year. Now, they face the Carolina Panthers who have been surging with a backup quarterback themselves.
Florida State Seminoles- Are the Noles back? The offense continues to put up numbers and looks like it turned a 180 from last year. The Noles have a bye week before traveling to Clemson. They will have a dilemma on their hands regarding who to play at QB, James Blackman or Alex Hornibrook?
Hornibrook started vs. NC State and had 316 yards and three touchdowns. This came a week after coming in against Louisivvle and throwing for 255 yards and two TDs. If Blackman is ready to play, do they insert him back into the role of starting QB?
Honorable Mention: Florida Atlantic- The Owls just needed to stop playing top 15 teams to start winning. Since loosing to Ohio State and UCF, they are now 3-0. They have scored 40 points in all three of the wins and QB Chris Robinson has 11 touchdowns.
FAU looks like a real threat to challenge for the top spot in the C-USA early in the season. They will face Middle Tennessee before a tough test with Marshall.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.